|The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Bernard K. Membe (L) is in the joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister, Hon. Sergey Lavrov in Moscow today Friday January 16, 2015.|
|Hon. Bernard K. Membe (L) and his Russian counterpart Hon. Sergey Lavrov walking out of Press Briefing Room in Moscow today.|
Today the governments of Tanzania and Russia have jointly agreed to speed up the process of establishing Tanzanian - Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation to be signed during the first quarter of 2015.
This was announced during the meeting between Hon. Bernard Membe, Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his Russian counterpart H.E. Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.
The commission aiming at expanding trade and investment between the two countries is expected to boost trade which at the moment is at the minimum.
"Although the volume of trade between our two countries has increased to reach 52 million USD for Tanzania and 60 million USD for Russia, it is not enough. We can do better" Minister Membe elaborated.
On his part, Minister Lavrov said the last bilateral investment forum between the two countries was held in 2009. The Commission will provide the needed platform for the countries to conduct regular forums which in turn will increase trade and investment opportunities.The commission will also assist in promoting the fast-growing energy sector in Tanzania whereby a number of Russian companies have already expressed their interest investing in it.
Other areas that will benefit through the establishment of this commission are tourism and education sectors whereby strategies to attract more Russian tourists to Tanzania and to increase number of Tanzanian students in Russia will be implemented respectively.
The two Ministers also agreed to strengthen the Military Technical Cooperation between their countries due to the crucial role they both play in conflict resolution and peace building in Africa.
On peace building aspect, Hon. Membe thanked Russian Government for its continued support and assistance in resolution of conflicts in Somali, DRC and now South Sudan.
In turn, Minister Lavrov commended Tanzania for her unwavering historical role in promoting and sustaining peace in DRC, South Sudan and other areas in Africa.
In his response, Hon. Membe who is in Moscow following an invitation of his counterpart urged Russia to stay on course in promoting Africa's development agenda.
"Time has now come for AU to implement its decision to open an office in Moscow to allow continuous discussions on this agenda. It is our hope that your government will facilitate the process for our mutual benefit" said Minister Membe.
The two ministers also agreed to take their countries bilateral relations to greater heights by promoting culture of both countries and people to people relations.
While in Moscow, Hon. Membe also had an opportunity to brief African Ambassadors and diplomats based in Moscow on the on-going peace processes in DRC and South Sudan.
Minister Membe's two-day official visit in Moscow will conclude with the meeting with Tanzanians students and professionals from Moscow and surrounding areas.
Government Communication Unit,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.